On the fourth of June 2004 we got up early so that a taxi could take us to Waterloo for the 0837 train to Lille. From Lille we caught another train which took us to the TGV station at Aix en Provence. When we were nearly there, we had a marvellous view of Avignon in the sunlight. A coach met us at the station and took us to the Hotel St Christophe in the centre of Aix. Although it was less than two minutes walk from the end of the Cours Mirabeau, the principal street of Aix, the hotel was beautifully quiet, the room was comfortable and the breakfast was excellent.
From Aix we had a coach trip to Cassis on the first day and one to the Camargue, Arles and Les Baux on the second before leaving to travel north along the Route Napoleon on the third. Pictures of this stage of our holiday are here.
At the end of the journey from Aix we came to the small town of Allevard, in the French Alps. We stayed here, at the Hotel des Pervenches (Periwinkles), for four nights. From here we had days out to Aix les Bains and Chambery, Chamonix, with a trip to see a glacier, and Annecy where we had a trip on a pleasure boat. Pictures of this stage are here.
From Allevard we went on, via Voiron and Montelimart, to a village called Joyeuse in the Ardeche. We stayed for three nights in the Hotel des Cedres (Cedars) which had a garden leading down to the river. It is an interesting village built on a steep hill. Our trips from here were to a town called Les Vans, where the whole town is taken over by a market on the Saturday morning, and Les Gorges de l'Ardeche which is very much like Gordale Scar on a much larger scale. Pictures of Joyeuse and the two trips are here.
On the fourteenth of June we were taken to the Valence TGV station for a train to Lille and then home. A three centre holiday is rather hard work with all the packing and unpacking; we did enjoy ourselves, though, and visited many places that we wouldn't have seen ordinarily.